The Telecom Namibia Group today announced that the appointment of ZTE Corporation (ZTE) to build a unified mobile network that will provide the Group with a fully transformed 2G/3G/4G networks starting with immediate effect.

The partnership – which entails the designing, planning, supply, delivery and implementation of IMS GSM LTE network infrastructure for Leo and Telecom Namibia, was formalised today at signing ceremony at the Telecom Namibia Head Office in Windhoek. This was followed by a briefing with the local media houses.

Frans Ndoroma, Telecom Namibia Managing Directors, said, “This will result in a major enhancement of Leo’s network quality and efficiency, enabling improved customer experience and richer applications on the mobile platform, and strengthening Leo’s competitiveness.”

Ndoroma said the deal is worth U$46 million and involves the rollout of base stations in three phases. This includes a number of road coverage sites throughout the country as well.

The brand new network will be capable of delivering download speeds of up to 100Mb/s for LTE and 21 Mb/s for 3G.

In terms of the contract, the project will deliver a converged switching platform for both fixed and mobile service with an IMS (IP multimedia systems) core for personal multi-media communications.

It will also deliver mobile radio access networks, both 3G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) – also known as 4G technology – to expand the overall coverage and data capacity for Leo, as well as integrating this IMS core with our fixed network to provide a single point for activation and service provisioning as well as billing interface with the Group’s newly installed state-of-the-art Billing system.

Ndoroma said building the Group’s network on an IMS core platform will give customers a big advantage in terms of price and quality of service adding: “With this unique platform we will optimise time, resources, and results on all IP communication services – from fixed and mobile phone calls to Internet access, from social networks to email,” he said.

The Group’s strategic orientation is towards fixed-mobile convergence, he added.

“More importantly, the IMS solution will also support most of Telecom Namibia’s existing PSTN/ISDN services and other multiple legacy interfaces, such as POTS,” the MD stated.

In parallel to the core network and Value-Added Services platform enhancement phase, base stations will initially be deployed to replace the existing 2G sites of Leo and CDMA base stations. The CDMA network is going to be recovered once all CDMA customers have been transferred to the new Leo network.

Ndoroma promised customers a variety of different products and services in the near future such as sales bundles, integrated tariffs and products and applications with convergent features.

“Aggressive network roll-out, fixed-mobile convergence and innovative service offerings will drive our future growth and are pre-requisites for success of what we are starting to do from now,” he stressed.

This project is among the biggest projects Telecom Namibia has undertaken so far, he said.

“Implementation of this project will allow us not only to expand mobile services and improve quality, but also help satisfy the increasing demand for mobile data and make fixed-mobile convergence a reality in Namibia,” he concluded.



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